The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,984 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.

SECTION LXX

“Dhritarashtra said, ’I request thee, O Sanjaya, to tell me again of the lotus-eyed Krishna; for, by being acquainted with the import of his names, I may, O son, obtain that most exalted of male beings.’

“Sanjaya said, ’The auspicious names (of Kesava) have been previously heard by me.  Of those I will tell thee as many as I know.  Kesava, however, is immeasurable, being above the power of speech to describe.  He is called Vasudeva in consequence of his enveloping all creatures with the screen of illusion, or of his glorious splendour, or of his being the support and resting-place of the gods.  He is called Vishnu because of his all-pervading nature.  He is called Madava, O Bharata, because of his practising as a Muni, concentration of mind on truth and Yoga-absorption.  He is called Madhusudana because of his having slain the Asura Madhu, and also because of his being the substance of the twenty-four objects of knowledge.  Born of the Sattwata race, he is called Krishna because he uniteth in himself what are implied by the two words Krishi which signifieth ‘what existeth’ and na which signifieth ‘eternal peace’.  He is called Pundarikaksha from Pundarika implying his high and eternal abode, and Aksha implying ‘indestructible’; and he is called Janardana because he striketh fear into the hearts of all wicked beings.  He is called Sattwata, because the attribute of Sattwa is never dissociated from him and also because he is never dissociated from it; and he is called Vrishabhakshana from Vrishabha implying the ‘Vedas’ and ikshana implying ‘eye’, the union of the two signifying that the Vedas are his eyes, or the Vedas are the eyes through which he may be seen, That conqueror of hosts is called Aja, or unborn’, because he hath not taken his birth from any being in the ordinary way.  That Supreme Soul is called Damodara because unlike the gods his effulgence is increate and his own, and also because he hath self-control and great splendour.  He is called Hrishikesa, from Hrishika meaning ‘eternal happiness’ and Isa meaning ‘the six divine attributes’, the union signifying one having joy, happiness, and divinity.  He is called Mahavahu, because he upholdeth the earth and the sky with his two arms.  He is called Adhakshaja, because he never falleth down or suffereth any deterioration, and is called Narayana from his being the refuge of all human beings.  He is called Purusottama from Puru implying ‘he that createth and preserveth’ and so meaning ’he that destroyeth, the union signifying one that createth, preserveth, and destroyeth the universe’.  He possesseth a knowledge of all things, and, therefore, is called Sarva, Krishna is always in Truth and Truth is always in him, and Govinda is Truth’s Truth.  Therefore, he is called Satya.  He is called Vishnu because of his prowess, and Jishnu because of his success.  He is called Ananta from his eternity, and Govinda from his knowledge of speech of every kind.  He maketh the unreal appear as real and thereby beguileth all creatures.  Possessed of such attributes, ever devoted to righteousness, and endued with divinity, the slayer of Madhu, that mighty-armed one incapable of decay, will come hither for preventing the slaughter of the Kurus.’”

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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